Ten years of blogging: 2004

2004 was the last year of my blog being on Blogger. I’d talked about moving it to Movable Type – and you can find out how long someone’s been blogging by asking if they remember Movable Type – during 2003, but found that didn’t work on my hosting company, but eventually at the end of the year decided it was time to try this new WordPress service they were offering. As for the blog itself, it just carried on as it had done during 2003.

New Year’s Day started with me discussing the end of the world, and the prophecies that said it might occur during 2004. Like all the predictions since, none of them came true.

I proved that a rice researcher in Australia wasn’t Britain’s Real Monarch, whatever Channel 4 might say, and flush with this success, went on to predict that Wesley Clark would be the Democratic Presidential candidate that year.

A Lib Dem blogger quit because of the inaccurate vitriol being dumped on the party by online commenters. Again, this was back in 2004, but includes the quote “political blogs are just Usenet flamewars with nicer layouts”.

Meanwhile, the Government was getting in trouble over introducing university fees they’d promised not to. Oddly, Nick Clegg wasn’t a MP then, and Labour were in Government.

Following my lead from the year before, The Sun confidently predicted that Alexander Armstrong was the new permanent host of Have I Got News For You. That guest hosts fad had obviously worn very thin by then.

I marked my first anniversary with a new look, and somehow got nominated for a Guardian Weblog Award thanks to my “non-extreme common sense that is rare in the world of frothing-at-the-mouth bloggers”.

From the looks of it, I blogged less in 2004 – this may or may not be related to the telling off I got for doing it at work – and much of it was about American politics, which seemed vastly interesting then, but not so much now. I did write this piece, which I think is good, to mark the tenth anniversary of the death of Bill Hicks.

Reviewing the stage adaptation of His Dark Materials at the NT, I noted how good Anna Maxwell Martin and Dominic Cooper were in the leads. Luckily, my prediction curse didn’t kick in, and they’ve gone on to have good careers. (I also recall Ben Whishaw being in HDM, but not whether it was that year or when I saw it again in 2005)

For reasons that seemed a good idea at the time, I started writing regular reviews of Formula 1 races in 2004. F1 rewarded me with one of the most boring seasons in living memory as Michael Schumacher ground everyone into the dust and processed to the world title.

Bloggers Against Fascism was a campaign in the run-up to the 2004 elections that had me in agreement with the blogosphere’s leading Tory Boy. I’d say pretty much the same today as I said in that post too.

Shortly after that, the Atocha bombings didn’t stop me wanting to go to Spain. A few days later, certain idiot blowhards decided that the Spanish weren’t firm enough in the face of terrorism when they threw out their government, so I gave my response.

There was a minor flurry of interest over the identity of blogger ‘Belle De Jour’ which I tried to shine a light on. What I now wonder is whether the Sarah Champion who was falsely believed to be her is the same one who’s now MP for Rotherham? She definitely wasn’t Belle de Jour, anyway.

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